Austria’s Marcel Hirschel makes it double gold with giant slalom win

Winter Olympics round-up: Norway’s Oystein Braaten wins freestyle slopestyle

 Austria’s Marcel Hirscher competes in the men’s giant slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Center during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher competes in the men’s giant slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Center during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

 

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won a second Olympic gold medal with victory in the men’s giant slalom at Yongpyong Alpine Centre on Sunday.

Hirscher, who won the men’s combined event on Tuesday, won by 1.27 seconds from Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway. Bronze went to Alexis Pinturault of France.

The 28-year-old has 55 World Cup wins and his two gold medals here strengthen his claim to be regarded as the best male ski racers of all time.

Hirscher had a commanding 0.63secs lead after the first run and was only 0.04 slower than Kristoffersen on the second to win by a large margin.

Hirscher fell short of Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014, but now has two from 2018.

He said: “Now it pays off. The first Olympics, they were not so successful. I mean, finishing fourth and fifth, it was okay.

“The next Olympics, in Sochi, second and fourth place. So a lot of fourth place. And now, I think it pays off.

“Gold in the combined was a big surprise. Today a lot of people, especially the media, hoped and expected that I [would] win another gold medal.

“Never expect something in professional sport. But my confidence and speed were high.”

Norway’s Oystein Braaten struck early with a brilliant first run as he claimed gold in the Olympic freestyle skiing men’s slopestyle.

American Nick Goepper improved on his bronze from Sochi four years ago with a silver medal as Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand claimed a surprise third place.

The event was a high quality one, the best ever according to Goepper, with eight riders scoring more than 90 points just to qualify for the 12-rider final.

Braaten laid down an early marker in the final, scoring 95.00 on his first run and as most of his rivals failed to match the Norwegian’s crisp and clean routine, his impressive total was good enough to hold on to top spot through all three rounds.

Norway’s Oystein Braaten competes in a run of the men’s ski slopestyle final event during the Winter Olympic Games at the Phoenix Park in Pyeongchang. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images
Norway’s Oystein Braaten competes in a run of the men’s ski slopestyle final event during the Winter Olympic Games at the Phoenix Park in Pyeongchang. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

“It feels amazing to win,” Braaten told reporters. “It has been a dream just to get to the finals, through such heavy qualifying, then landing the best run I have ever done in the first run of the final . . . I am speechless.”

Martin Fourcade became France’s most successful Olympian of all time with a brilliant display of shooting and skiing to win the men’s 15km mass start biathlon race at the Alpensia resort to claim his fourth Olympic gold.

Simon Schempp of Germany lost out to the Frenchman in a furious sprint finish, coming in a fraction behind to take silver, while Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen took the bronze medal.

The Czech Republic scored three third-period goals to beat Switzerland and win their group in the preliminary round of the men’s Olympic ice hockey tournament, earning a spot in the quarter-finals.

Forward Michal Repik scored twice, including an empty netter inside the last minute of the game, and goalkeeper Pavel Francouz stopped 28 shots. Dominik Kubalik and Roman Cervenka each scored for the Czechs.Thomas Rufenacht scored for the Swiss.

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo secured a majestic victory in the men’s 4x10km relay with a stunning late spurt as Norway won their fifth gold in eight cross-country skiing competitions.

The lead changed hands several times during a thrilling final lap as the Norwegian battled it out with Denis Spitsov, representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia who took silver 9.4 seconds behind, with France nabbing the bronze.

SELECTED WINTER OLYMPICS RESULTS

Men’s giant slalom: 1 Marcel Hirscher (Aut) 02:18.0, 2 Henrik Kristoffersen (Nor) 02:19.3, 3 Alexis Pinturault (Fra) 02:19.3, 4 Zan Kranjec (Slo) 02:19.8, 5 Thomas Fanara (Fra) 02:19.8, 6 Victor Muffat-jeandet (Fra) 02:19.9, 7 Mathieu Faivre (Fra) 02:20.0, 8 Leif Kristian Nestvold-haugen (Nor) 02:20.2, 9 Loic Meillard (Swi) 02:20.5, 10 Matts Olsson (Swe) 02:20.7

Men’s freestyle slopestyle: 1 Oystein Braaten (Nor) 95, 2 Nick Goepper (Us) 93.6, 3 Alex Beaulieu-marchand (Can) 92.4, 4 James Woods (Gb) 91, 5 Teal Harle (Can) 90, 6 Evan Mceachran (Can) 89.4, 7 Andri Ragettli (Swi) 85.8, 8 Ferdinand Dahl (Nor) 76.4, 9 Elias Ambuehl (Swi) 73.2, 10 Jonas Hunziker (Swi) 66.2

Men’s 4x10km relay: 1 Norway 1hr 33mins 04.9secs, 2 Olympic Athlete from Russia 1:33:14.3, 3 France 1:33:41.8, 4 Finland 1:34:45.4, 5 Sweden 1:35:10.5, 6 Germany 1:35:13.1, 7 Italy 1:35:40.1, 8 Kazakhstan 1:36:36.3, 9 Canada 1:36:45.9, 10 Czech Republic 1:37:23.0

Men’s 15km mass start: 1 Martin Fourcade (Fra) 35mins 47.3secs, 2 Simon Schempp(Ger)35:47.3, 3 Emil Hegle Svendsen(Nor)35:58.5, 4 Erik Lesser(Ger)35:58.9, 5 Benedikt Doll (Ger)36:06.1, 6 Julian Eberhard(Aut)36:18.0, 7 Erlend Bjoentegaard(Nor)36:19.4, 8 Tarjei Boe(Nor)36:21.9, 9 Jesper Nelin (Swe) 36:21.9, 10 Jakov Fak(Slo) 36:23.4

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